“Like” Your Page?!? What’s in it for Me?

“How do I get more people to…

…”like” my Facebook page?

…join my Constant Contact email list?

…follow me on Twitter?

…subscribe to my WordPress blog?”

This is a question I get in nearly every workshop, webinar and consultation on social media.  I was reminded of this common marketing concern yesterday, when I saw an emphatic post in my Facebook feed demanding that I like a friend’s fan page.  My first thought was:

What’s in it for ME?

So you set up your fan page and your family and close friends are happy to join in your little social media experiment, so you have your first 25 fans – enough to get your own custom Facebook username!  After a time of networking, posting a few things, maybe even creating an event or two, other business friends and acquaintances become fans and you break the 100 mark.  At some point you reach the plateau of people willing to join the cause just because they know you, and this is where it gets challenging.  You see, at this point you actually have to show your value!  That page, post and tweet have to start earning their keep and providing your audience with something they need.  If it doesn’t, there is nothing in it for them and they will not join or will quickly leave.

Delivering Value

I recently saw a list of the top 10 reasons people like a business fan page.  Potential discounts, brand loyalty and new product information were among the top reasons in the study.  Here are some ways we guide small businesses to add value for their audience:

Use a 30/30/30 Content Mix

If your goal is to just repeat your advertising copy into your Facebook business posts, don’t expect a huge return on the time invested!  My recommendation to most clients is that less than 30% of social media posts be straight advertising promotion.   Another 30% should be industry news, product tips, research and other information that establishes your company as credible experts.  The third 30% should be less business focused and can consist of community news, promoting charity events or entertainment.  For all those keeping score at home, use that last 10% however you like!

Make it Shareable

You know those posts that you can’t wait to comment on and share with your friends?  Try to be the person who makes that post!  Think through your media calendar and post schedule from your audience’s point of view.  Are the things you post something they will want to see and share with their friends?  When you are not only valuable, but also shareable, your fan base will grow quickly.

Post Consistently

My Facebook friend base combined with the business pages I like totals about 300.  Not a large number, pretty average in fact.  But, for me to see one day’s worth of posts I have to scroll back through about 8 screens – and I hide Farmville posts!  That means if you are a business posting once or twice a week in the morning, it’s likely I won’t even see your posts for months at a time.  Social Media is more tolerant of short, valuable posts multiple times a day than email.  In fact, if you are on Twitter and only tweeting a couple times a day, most people who follow over 500 people (not uncommon) will forget they are following you.

Social Media Calendar

It’s tough to sit down and in the moment you have to post, think of something creative and valuable to say.  Create a social media calendar to help organize, schedule and mix your post content.  My social medial calendar includes Facebook, Twitter, WordPress blog posts and Constant Contact email marketing.  This provides an integrated, consistent approach to my online marketing (when I have the time to implement!)

Having trouble with your social media or email marketing?  Sigma College of Small Business has business classes, webinars and services to help you get started and be more effective.

Would you like a Social Media Planning Calendar?  We developed an Excel spreadsheet that we use at Sigma College.  Use the comments below to let me know if you are interested.

8 Tips to Boost Your Email Marketing

Last week I presented a “Hands-on” seminar for the Greater Warrenton Chamber of Commerce to help small businesses use Constant Contact email marketing to help grow their business.  The seminar was based on these 8 Tips to Boost Your Email Marketing.  Sigma College of Small Business chose to be a Constant Contact Partner and Certified Local Expert last year because of the ease of use for developing professional emails and their support for social media channels.

1.  Add Value

Bottom Line – people will only open, read and act on emails they find consistently valuable.

  • “Email special” discounts, sales and insider info
  • Industry and community news – edited to highlight the value to your audience
  • Opportunity to interact and share

2.  Keep it Opt-In

Maintain a conservative definition of “opt-in” and manage your list to keep it that way.

  • Sending to people that don’t want to hear from you can be negative
  • Building a relationship they started is always better

3.  Subject, Subject, Subject (and headline to Match)

You have a split second to catch their attention, don’t waste it! And confirm their “open” decision with a clear, related headline.

  • “Our Monthly Newsletter” = “I can read this later” = “Will read when I have more time”
  • YOUR AUDIENCE WILL NEVER HAVE MORE TIME!
  • “Your Back Will Thank You”, “Get the CEO off Your Back”, “Are You Giving Your Profits Away?”
  • Use a txt headline at the top of the email to confirm it’s not a trick

4.  The Length and Frequency Principle

Keep frequent emails short, with one or two timely key points.  Less frequent emails can be longer.

  • A daily newspaper doesn’t publish each day with news from last week – if you are sending daily or weekly, have content that changes daily or weekly.

5.  Using Lists

Using multiple lists gives your audience choices on content and frequency to match their needs.

  • Monthly Newsletter, Weekly Specials, Daily Tip OR Engaged, Recently Married, With Children
  • Tell each audience what they should expect and then deliver!
  • Consistency – Delivery, Content, Format, From

6.  Keep your emails consistent

Deliver at promised times with expected content that matches subject

  • Consistent format will help brand recognition and using a recognizable email will help

7.  “Join My Email List”

Ask people to join your email list – tell them why they should and then deliver.

  • Put “Join My Email List” on web sites, Fan Pages and in email signatures

8.  Social Media Promotion

Use the Constant Contact social media tools, but don’t stop there!

  • “Look for ‘Your Back Will Thank You!’ in tomorrow’s monthly email newsletter.” Join Now!
  • Connect your social media to Constant Contact and use the share and tweet functions.

Email marketing can be especially useful to small business owners because it can convey a personal message to clients on a consistent basis at very little cost.  If you have questions about getting your email marketing working better, post a comment or contact us at info@SigmaBizLearning.com or (703) 468-1465.

Keep an Eye on Your Profile and Make Sure it is Linked Correctly!

Facebook makes and implements a lot of changes without your permission.  Make sure that every month or so you scan your Facebook profile to make sure your setting are right and to see if there are any new features you can use.

Connecting to Your Company Fan Page in your Profile

Recently Facebook made some changes to the layout of your wall an placed your information in a listing right below your name.  When they made the change, they added information based on what was in your profile.

Link Facebook Profile Info to Your Fan Page

For things like your employer, if they didn’t find an existing business page, they created a new page.  My friend Carole from Chow Now Pet Foods, LLC, provider of quality raw, organic pet food, pointed this out to me last week and asked about making it connect to her real Chow Now fan page instead of the fake one they created.

Connecting YOU to Your Fan Page

Here are the steps to connect you to your fan page.

  1. Go to your Profile Page by clicking the “Profile” link in the upper right of the Face book window.  Make sure you are signed in first.
  2. On the Profile Page, click the “Edit Profile” button in the upper right  of the window.
  3. In the left column is a list of categories for information that you can change.  Click the link for “Education and Work”Facebook Profile
  4. If you had an employer or place of business listed before the change, that will be listed with a link to the “fake” page as an employer or project.
  5. In the blank “Employer” box start typing in the name of your Fan Page.  Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t show up in the autofill, type it in just like it shows on your page and hit enter.
  6. It will find your page, show your profile picture and open a box for you to add information.  Fill in the information and click “Add Job”
  7. To remove the other listing, look to the right of the title and you will see an “edit” link and an “x”.  Click the “x” to delete and then acknowledge the confirmation.
  8. Go back to your profile and the information should now include a direct link to your fan page.

Although it’s a bit annoying opening Facebook and finding things different, most of the changes seem to be for the better.  If you haven’t checked your security settings in a while, you should do that now.  That’s probably where the most changes happened last year.

“Friendly” URL for Your Facebook Fan Page

I had a question come up from a student about how they could get their Facebook Fan page to have a “friendly” URL like mine www.facebook.com/SigmaCollege.

According to Facebook Help, you must have 25 people who ‘like’ your page before you can set up a “username” for the page. And, you must also be an admin for the page. If you meet these requirements it’s pretty easy, but pick your username before starting the process because once it’s done, it’s done.

1. Go to www.facebook.com/username and you will see your personal username in the top block. In the bottom block will be a drop down box with all the pages for which you are an admin.

Facebook Username Friendly URL

2. Select the page for which you want to create a usnername. Type in the desired username and “Check Availability”. You may need to go to a backup username if the one you chose is already taken.

3. Once you have a username that is available, a confirmation box will come up that tells you that the name can’t be changed or transferred along with some other rules. Make sure that you chose wisely and that you spelled it correctly:-) Then click “Confirm” and you are all set.

Now you can put the friendly URL in your email signature, business cards and wherever else you want to promote your fan page.